Water bath development, any use with modern films?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Usagi, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Usagi

    Usagi Member

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    Hi,

    I just accidentally under exposed one sheet of HP5+ by one step. So lower shadow values will be troublesome.

    That made me wondering that could water bath developing give any help?

    With old thick emulsion films it worked, but how it is with a modern films?

    Actually this question is so interesting that I will probably do a little test and check does it help or not.
     
  2. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Water bath development was used to tame highlights, not strengthen shadows. In my experience if you're underexposed, there's nothing you can do to get back that shadow detail. The whole concept of "push development" is (to me) a myth. Whenever I've tried it I get blown highlights with no effect on the shadows.

    In any case, water bath development won't help you, for two reasons: a) when it worked the effect it had was to keep the highlights from blowing out without losing the shadows and b) it only worked with thick emulsion films. So unless you shoot Super XX Pan, the physics of the situation precludes your gaining any advantage from water bath development.

    The situation in which it does work today is in printing on Azo, where it is a very effective technique indeed. But of course it works in reverse from what you'd do with film: you place it in the water bath to hold back the shadow densities while allowing the highlights to fully develop.

    Nice work on your website, BTW.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2009
  3. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    One step isn't much, just push process (process at 20C or whatever is normal for you but develop for longer). I disagree with the naysayers who don't believe in push processing :wink:
     
  4. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    The only other possibility is stand or semi stand development, which, with the right developer (Rodinal works well) will optimize the low end detail while holding back the highlights. And c6h6o3 makes a good distinction about the purpose of water bathing, and I agree with his take on "push" processing. I have tried it over the years with different films and dev's, also saw results done by students back when I was teaching. Shadows never improved. Sometimes, however, mid to 3/4 tones may move up the curve and may benefit from better separation. But highlights can block up.
    Search this forum for "stand" or "semi-stand" and you'll find plenty to read. Pay attention to Don Cardwell's posts.
     
  5. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    username: df cardwell

    Just to be easier to search on. And recommendation seconded.

    Lee
     
  6. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I second the recommendation for stand/semi-stand development. This will pull as much out of the shadow density as there is there. You can generally get from 1/2 to one full stop in effective film speed with this type of development.

    Sandy King


     
  7. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Make it three recommendations (or is that four?) for SS developing. It's not a magic bullet, but sometimes it seems like it.

    Cheers,
     
  8. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Local depletion of the developing agent is the mechanism
    by which compensation is achieved when using water bath
    development. Water bath development though is not the only
    way to compensation. As mentioned, stand and semi-stand
    development also work.

    The developer depletes soon in areas of much exposure while
    the less exposed areas continue to increase in density. Very
    active highly dilute developers of the correct developing
    agent are compensating developers. Metol specifically
    is effective due to it's retardation by the local build
    up of bromide in the most exposed areas.

    Divided developers offer compensation; Stockler's and divided
    D-23 come to mind. I've been using D-23 at a 1:7 dilution;
    500ml, one 120 roll. With 2 or 3 inversions every 2 or 3
    minutes I've managed to pull full speed and maybe a
    little more from the Acros film developed. Dan
     
  9. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    water bath

    Underexposed

    There was a theory and only a theory that on any exposure all the image was recorded on the film.But it was at such a low level it was below the threshold that would develop, something like that So a technique in vogue in the 40’s ,called I believe latent intensification , was tried .It was basically post fogging the film. Prefogging the film had already been used to boost the films “speed “ for low light levels. and reduce contrast. The movie studios had highly controlled techniques for such conditions and amateurs tried variations. Some claiming enormous speed increases. These of course were all with the old thick emulsions and as such might have had some validity But then we also soaked the film overnight in mercury vapors (hyper sensitization) too to boost film speed and lived to tell about it.
     
  10. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    In addition to semi-stand / reduced agitation methods, you could go with a developer that gives higher effective film speeds. Among those would be Xtol, Ilford DDX, Microphen, and Diafine. I'm certain others will be suggested. :smile:

    Some commonly used semi-stand or stand developers such as Rodinal don't yield as much film speed. You can use the developers that give higher film speed as semi-stand developers.

    Lee
     
  11. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I can't believe I didn't think of SS development. In my particular case it will actually reclaim a full stop of shadow density, because I rate my film at half box speed for normal tray development. But with SS I get full box speed. So if you're in the habit of rating your HP5+ at 200, SS development will indeed reclaim the full stop of shadow density.
     
  12. Usagi

    Usagi Member

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    Thank you :smile:

    Stand, semistand and two baths - have to study them carefully so that I have more tools ready for use when I need them.

    I have tried stand developing for couple of films before but got uneven results and forgot whole thing.
    Semi stand I use always with roll film and pyrocat-HD.

    With sheet films I haven't tried. Would it work with trays?

    In this case I had rated HP5+ at 200, so one stop under exposure is not total disaster.

    Now I will have a cup of coffee and do some searching at forum :smile:
     
  13. phfitz

    phfitz Member

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    you could check out this thread, the peroxide/kodalk bath does work

    latensification
     
  14. Usagi

    Usagi Member

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    Thanks! Have to try this one!

    Whole concept of latensification seems quite interesting.